Start of the Stony Path at the Documentation Centre, 2007. Photo by Klemens Ortmeyer. Bergen-Belsen Memorial (Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation)
The Memorial's Redesign
The redesign of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial was not completed when the new Documentation Centre opened. The planning competition held in 2002 called for proposals for the architecture of the new building, the exhibition concept and the landscaping of the historical grounds of the camp. The building, exhibition and grounds are considered to be a single unit, each component of which contributes to making the historical site “decipherable”. A master plan was drawn up for landscaping the Memorial grounds.
Visitors enter the grounds by means of a Stony Path leading from the forecourt of the Memorial through the new Documentation Centre to the site of the former camp. This path ends at a plateau in the middle of what was once the Bergen-Belsen camp.
Two relief models on this plateau show the historical topography of the camp and the redesigned Memorial grounds. The plateau is flanked by an open swath of lawn which traces the street that formerly ran the length of the camp. Additional clearings in the vegetation will mark the entire perimeter and individual sections of the camp. In the course of this landscaping, text panels will be installed in the grounds to provide visitors with topographical and historical information about the site.
The master plan also calls for preserving the few remaining structural relics from the camp and devising a way to display the names of those victims who have been identified.